USA Swimming is preparing for the 2015 Golden Goggles Awards and are beginning to release the nominees for the 2015 Awards. The Golden Goggles Awards are presented by the USA Swimming Foundation every year to celebrate the top swimmers and coaches’ achievements over the last year.
There are eight categories: Breakout Performer of the Year, Coach of the Year, Perseverance Award, Relay Performance of the Year, Male Performance of the Year, Female Performance of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, and Female Athlete of the Year.
The first nominees announced by USA Swimming are up for the 2015 Breakout Performer Of The Year award. The award is given to the athlete whose performance(s) stand out in relation to other years, with special emphasis given to the 2015 FINA World Championships.
The three nominees for the Breakout Performer of the Year award are Katie Meili, Jordan Wilimovsky, and Kelsi Worrell. With special emphasis given to the 2015 World Championships, Wilimovsky has the advantage between the three nominees. He was the only swimmer of the three that was on the World Championship team and while in Kazan, he won his first World Title in the Open Water 10k and became the first member of the 2016 US Olympic team.
KATIE MEILI – With a gold-medal finish at the Pan American Games and her first-ever national title, Katie Meili enjoyed a true breakthrough season in 2015. At Pan Ams in Toronto, Meili set a Games record and posted the third-fastest time in the world in 2015 in the 100m breast, touching in 1:05.64 in the prelims. She went on to win gold in the final and added a pair of relay medals at the Games. Meili followed that performance with a victory in the 100m breast at the 2015 Phillips 66 National Championships for her first career national championship title. Since graduating from Columbia University in 2013, Meili has steadily improved to emerge as one of Team USA’s top breaststrokers.
JORDAN WILIMOVSKY – Jordan Wilimovsky broke out in a big way in 2015 with a victory in the open water 10-kilometer event at the FINA World Championships and U.S. national titles in open water and pool competitions. His first career national title in the 10K at the 2015 Open Water National Championships secured his start in the same event at Worlds. In Kazan, he pulled away late to earn his first world title and becoming the first swimmer clinch a spot on the U.S. roster for the 2016 Olympic Games. Wilimovsky then proved his versatility with a victory in the 1500m free at the Phillips 66 National Championships.
KELSI WORRELL – It was truly a 2015 to remember for Kelsi Worrell, as she claimed NCAA, Pan American Games and Phillips 66 National Championships titles in the 100 butterfly. Worrell won an NCAA title and set an American record in the 100y fly for the University of Louisville in March, becoming the first woman to break the 50-second mark. Worrell did not disappoint in her international debut at Pan Ams in Toronto, where she set a Games record and notched the third-fastest time in the world in 2015 with a 57.24 effort in the 100m fly prelims. She went on to win gold in the event and added two relay medals. Worrell followed with a victory in the 100m fly at the Phillips 66 National Championships.